What Romance?

Yeats’ Tower

by C. Margery Kempe

I have a guest spot over at Cathie Dunn’s blog today, talking about the mad city, Manchester, site of my story Man City. I may also be featured in the Irish version of The Sun newspaper — er, tabloid. Not too sure if it will be there (many stories get spiked) and not sure I will be quoted accurately (people seldom are) but I figure in this market any publicity could be useful.

This will test that theory! >_<

Of course it’s on the heels of the success of 50 Shades of Grey. I’m not going to slag her off as so many do. Not only because I haven’t read it (which hasn’t stopped many) but also because I get so tired of the smallness of mind that causes people to make fun of other genres. I write in a lot of fields, so I see it a lot. SF folk make fun of fantasy; horror makes fun of SF,  crime makes fun of lit — and everybody makes fun of romance. You’d think that romance would therefore be kind to others, but some just make fun of sub genres (especially inspirational and erotic).

Romance, in the Middle Ages, meant adventure. Now it’s a genre. And genre can be a box you get thrown into and ignored.

We all feel the pressure to conform to the ideals society imposes upon us: men are taught to desire power but most have far less than they are led to expect (patriarchy, meet capitalism). Crime fiction tends to sell well to male readers because it gives them a vicarious experience of that wild power. Women are taught to desire love, hence the popularity of ‘romance’ the genre. However, even if you have been lucky enough to find wonderful love, someone’s got to clean the toilets and unless you did manage to become a millionaire or fall in love with one, it’s going to be one of you.

In the blurb I wrote, I spoke a bit about the cyclical rediscovery that — gasp! — women like sex. How puritanical the modern age: in medieval times it was assumed that women were always gagging for it. Look at the Wife of Bath, married five times and “welcome the sixth when he may come along.”

It’s my last week in Ireland — sob! Next Saturday I am on my way to Dundee, which I won’t complain about as my sweetie awaits me. But I am so sad to leave my city by the bay.


About C. Margery Kempe

A writer of erotic romance: see my website, www.cmkempe.com for a taste of my work including free stories, book trailers and more.
This entry was posted in C. Margery Kempe, contemporary romance, erotic romance, inspiration, Kit Marlowe, Marketing, medieval, romance, Romance News, Settings, Twilight, What inspires you?, Writer's Life, Writing Topics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to What Romance?

  1. Hi Margery,
    I don’t normally say anything bad about any genre, but I did read about half of 50 Shades and it, at least for me, was a chore. I did not care for it. Would be interested to get your take on it. Glad you will be with your honey soon. If you do make the papers, you must post it!

    • cmkempe says:

      Oh, I don’t really have plans to read it; too busy writing! But I’d much rather hear from people like you who have read it. What I resent is the ‘bad apple’ being taken as representative of the whole genre. No one who read The Da Vinci Code and thought it terrible said that mysteries were therefore crap. But 50 seems to be taken as ‘just like all the rest’ for romance.

  2. Kemberlee says:

    I haven’t read 50 either and don’t have any plans to. I picked up a copy while in the bookstore and thumbed through. I couldn’t get over how poorly written it was. And with the cost of books in Ireland being 25-50% higher than the rest of the world, there was no way I was putting my money into this franchise. Not because I don’t usually follow franchises, but because I prefer not to invest in a poorly written one. Until this book, erotica in general has had a bad name or looked upon with frowning faces. Now, suddenly, it’s all about erotica, even though the book is getting so much bad press. And despite the bad press, or in spite of it, the book is selling by the millions. Why? Because there were rumors of it being banned almost as soon as it was released. A banned book or talk of banning will get a book noticed in a heartbeat, apparently no matter how poorly it’s written.

    • cmkempe says:

      Damn, I need to start a rumour on my books: BANNED IN BOSTON! Now I just have to get someone to ban one of my books in Boston. It could just work!

      But yeah, I get so annoyed when slating 50SG becomes “of course it’s romance” or “of course it’s erotica” because there are lots of well written books in the genre that don’t get enough attention. Like mine!

  3. malanouette says:

    I read all three 50’s. I’m not going to pull her apart but congratulate her on her success. Isn’t that what we are all thriving for?

    • cmkempe says:

      I’m thinking that a rising tide lifts all boats, so I’m going to concentrate on writing and publishing and leave whinging to others.

  4. Yes, Kudos to her for her success. With such a poorly written book, it only proves it could happen to any one of us.

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